You are here

"Not Afraid to Look" Making Art That Speaks Truth to Power

photo of sculpture overlooking industrial lights in the snow
September 24, 2018

Join sculptor Charles Rencountre (Lower Brule Sioux Nation-Kul Wicasa Oyate) with Alicia Rencountre-Da Silva (Mestiza and Muisca) on Saturday, October 13 at 11:30 in the Kirby Rafters to talk about the monument and how sculpture can be one of the ways communities come together.

woman standing with Not Afraid to Look sculpture

Thank you for taking the time to read this.  My name is Charles Rencountre. I’m from the Lower Brule Sioux Nation. I’m the sculptor who built “Not Afraid to Look” at Standing Rock in the fall of 2016.  This monument is the second monument that I built.  The first one was built by myself and my wife, Alicia Rencountre Da Silva.  

We came up with these two pieces as part of the art we create that speaks truth to power in places where it is needed.  We are connected to a few communities within Duluth and we are going to be here on October 12th and 13th to see about building a third monument with community, to face Enbridge in some way, and to speak to what is at hand in relation to line 3.

On the 13th we are giving a talk at the Kirby Rafters at UMD.

“Not Afraid to Look” at Standing Rock is an 8 x8 x4’ monument that was gifted through a lot of grit, long days and good will-- by myself as the sculptor and by the communities who knew it was important to build to face the Energy Transfer Partners pipeline that crossed the Missouri River directly above the Standing Rock Sioux Nation.  That nation is part of my Oceti Sakowin--The Seven Council Fires (Great Sioux Nation of the Lakota, Nakota, and Dakota)-- so it is important for me as a human being to stand with our relatives, our relations, as all our relatives need clean water-- Water is both a gift and a right.

As artists and civic participants we are invested in the vision of a global art movement that moves to shift the way popular culture responds to fear based paradigms within our societies.  When social media and news focuses on mirroring our individual and collective fears, our global societies are fear driven. We see that paralysis, indifference, and overwhelm alongside greed, anger, and hatred (polarization), are all ways that fear takes hold of people. This causes great harm to our communities within the States and across the Earth. We believe that (community driven) art has the power to shift the paradigms of fear. (#notafraidtolook art projects.)
In the time that we have been able to research the Duluth community, all of your groups have care, have a  direct interest in an inclusive balance of your citizenry and in the enduring health of your community. That’s how come you are all receiving this invite to meet us, either at a public event or to reach out to us directly.